Johnny Marr and Smiths Bassist Reunite at Brooklyn Show
By Laura Ferreiro
Depending on how you look at it, Johnny Marr's Brooklyn show on Friday night was either a dream come true for Smiths fans, or a bittersweet reminder of something that will likely never be.
The ex-Smiths guitarist invited his former bandmate Andy Rourke onstage during his solo show to cover their band's classic tune,"How Soon Is Now?" at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, according to Rolling Stone. Before bringing him out, Marr gave a kind tribute to the bassist, who's also a longtime friend. "When I was 15, I formed one of the first bands with my best friends," he told the crowd. "He was at that time one of the best musicians I'd ever heard; we were just kids.
"Then in 1982 I formed a band in Manchester and I asked my best friend to come and play the bass with me, and he was still one of the best musicians I'd ever heard. And tonight, 30 years later, I'm gonna invite one of my best friends in the world--and he's still one of the best musicians I've ever heard."
The duo ran through the haunting tune like the veteran pros they are, but for Smiths fans accustomed to Morrissey's distinct vocals, Marr's rendition doesn't quite measure up. That said, it's very likely that this will be the closest they get to a Smiths reunion, given that both Marr and Moz have said on numerous occasions that it's not in the cards.
They've reportedly been offered millions of dollars to get back together, and Coachella festival organizers allegedly offered to make the festival completely vegetarian to entice animal-rights activist Morrissey...but they still say there's no way it will happen.
Rumors abound as to why the reunion has never happened, ranging from royalty disputes to personal vendettas, and Morrissey was recently quoted saying, "The Smiths almost left me on a mortuary slab."
Since the influential indie-rock band broke up in 1987, frontman Morrissey has gone on to have a very successful solo career, and Marr has played with renowned bands including Modest Mouse and the Cribs. He recently released his first solo album, The Messenger, in February, to much critical acclaim.
So, at least for now, Smiths fans will have to take what they can get.